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The fires that consumed the First Temple on the Ninth of Av continued to burn until the middle of the following day. The Talmudic sage Rabbi Yochanan stated, “Had I been alive in that generation, I would have fixed [the day of mourning] for the Tenth [of Av] because the greater part of the Temple was burnt on that day.”
Tisha b’Av has been a day of unfortunate occurrences throughout Jewish history, and so too has the Tenth of Av.
On July 22 1306, the Tenth of Av, the Jews of France were arrested and ordered to leave the country. The Jewish community was not aware of the planned expulsion, for France’s king, Philip the Fair, did not want them to flee in advance with their assets. One of the monarch’s motives for expelling the Jews was financial. Philip saw plundering the wealth of the exiles as a way to shore up France’s economy.
It was by far the most significant expulsion of Jews to date in medieval Europe. Approximately one hundred thousand were forced to wander in search of new homes; many perished along the way.
Ten years later, Louis the X invited the Jews back to France, and some did return. But the expulsion had serious consequences beyond the immense human suffering it had caused. It ended the great era of Jewish scholarship of the Tosaphists of France, whose commentaries illuminated Talmudic texts. And it set a precedent for other mass expulsions, which would plague the Jews of Europe throughout the Middle Ages.
Tragically, the return of the Jews of France was short-lived – they were expelled again in 1396 by Charles VI.
In the late nineteenth century England was a haven for tens of thousands of Jews fleeing oppression in Russia. Many of the immigrants made their way to the East End of London. Their steady arrival aroused the opposition of many British lawmakers.
On August 11,1905, the Tenth of Av, the Aliens Act was passed. The new law entitled an immigration officer to deny entry to an “undesirable immigrant,” defined by the bill as one with no means of earning a living, or judged to be a lunatic, or convicted of a nonpolitical crime. The bill also allowed for the expulsion of those who had already immigrated and were now deemed undesirable.
The legislation not only set in motion a series of increasingly stricter anti-immigration measures, it also impacted American policy. Americans who opposed the levels of Eastern European immigration looked to the British bill as an example of successful immigration limitation. In 1924 the U.S. Congress passed the Johnson Reed Act, which put a stop to the flow of immigrants from Eastern Europe. These restrictions remained in force throughout the era of Nazism and the Holocaust, denying European Jewry desperately needed sanctuary.
In the summer of 1929, Arab hatred of Zionism boiled over into full-scale riots. The Arabs of Jerusalem were well aware of the significance of the Western Wall to the Jews and used this holy site to incite against Zionism. On Yom Kippur 1928, the British consented to Arab demands to remove the mechitza, the divider separating men from women when in prayer, and in the middle of Yom Kippur services, British soldiers entered the grounds of the Kotel and removed the barrier.
As the debate over Jewish rights at the Kotel continued, efforts were made by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, to keep Jews from praying at their sacred site. Husseini whipped Arab masses into a rage by charging that the Jews were attacking the Muslim holy places. Soon after, on the sixteenth of August 1929, as a newly constructed door near the Wall was opened, Jewish worshippers were attacked. Two Jews were injured and many religious articles were destroyed.
On the following day, August 17, thousands of Arabs armed with clubs, swords and daggers converged upon the Mosque of Omar to hear impassioned hate speeches by their leaders. Soon the cry of “Slaughter the Jews” bellowed in the streets of Jerusalem. Over the next several days there were attacks at Mount Scopus and the Bucharian section of Jerusalem where young Abraham Mizrachi was mortally stabbed.
The rioting, which continued for a week and a half, took the lives of 133 Jews and left 339 wounded. Among the dead were those massacred in Hebron, whose Jewish community was ravaged by Arab mobs.
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Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state
Blaming Israel for the violence in Gaza, he ends up justifying Hamas’s terrorism.
In the Thirties it was common for anti-Semites to call on Jews to “go to Palestine!”
“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”
We take US “aid” for psychological reasons-if we have an allowance, that means we have a father.
ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.
Foolish me, thinking the goals were the destruction of Hamas thereby giving peace a real chance.
The free-spirted lifestyle didn’t hold your interest; the needs of your people did.
And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?
Several years ago the city concluded that the metzitzah b’peh procedure created unacceptable risks for newborns in terms of the transmission of neo-natal herpes through contact with a mohel carrying the herpes virus.
The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.
We were quite disappointed with many of the points the secretary-general offered in response.
Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.
Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”
Nearly two decades into the 20th century, Jews were suffering the horrors of pogroms, mass expulsions, starvation and disease in Eastern Europe while Jewish soldiers in various armies were enduring the carnage of the battlefield. Amid the horrors, however, a glimmer of hope appeared.
On November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m., an agreement signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiegne France, ended hostilities on the Western front and signaled the end of the First World War.
On the eve of the Six-Day War, Israel stood alone.
The events of June 1967 came just a decade after the 1956 Sinai Campaign waged by Israel, France and Great Britain to protect international passage through the Suez Canal.
Had Judge Richard Goldstone only issued a distorted litany of accusations against the Jewish state – dayenu.
Had the British government only issued an arrest warrant against Kadima leader and former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni – dayenu.
Last month, Israel lost a very close friend in Alexander Haig.
During his confirmation hearings in January 1981for the position of secretary of state, Haig reiterated his commitment to the existing U.S. policy of not dealing with the PLO or other Palestinians opposed to Israel’s existence.
● Had President Obama only given a speech in Cairo to the Arab world in “de-Nile” of the actual history of the region – dayenu.
Jerusalem, as it has so many times in the past, is today occupying center stage in the world theater. Once again the City of David is under siege. Not by an invading army, but by pressure exerted by nations to relinquish Israeli sovereignty over Jewry’s eternal capital.
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